Changes in consumer perceptions of GMOs over time

A new article by Kristin Runge et al. in the journal Public Opinion Quarterly pulls together polling results over the past few decades in an attempt to ascertain changes in public opinion about biotechnology and GMOs.  Here's the abstract.

Over the past 50 years, the food industry has transformed. The first food-related crops containing gene modifications were commercialized in the late 1990s, and researchers began documenting trends toward consumption of larger portions of food, increased reliance on fast food, and the health impacts of living in “food deserts.” Polls examined here document a general, though not monotonic, decline in confidence that the federal government can ensure the safety of the food supply, a similar decline in confidence that food in restaurants or grocery stores is safe to eat, a decline in the belief that packaged-food companies are doing a good job, and an increased sensitivity to the negative aspects of GMO foods. At the same time, we find that fewer people are attending to biotechnology-related news or the information on food packaging, but increasingly attending to food warnings and nutritional recommendations.

It is an interesting article focusing on more than just biotechnology, but misses some of the other attempts to aggregate polling results on these issues over the years from, for examples, Pew and IFIC.  Also, one shouldn't discount the many meta analyses that have been done on this topic relying on the academic literature (e.g., here, here, or here), which doesn't show much trend toward increasing concern about biotechnology or GMOs.  The results from my Food Demand Survey (FooDS) also shows very little evidence of changes in awareness or concern about GMOs over the past four years.